One Democrat. One Republican. Both want an inspector general

Delaware Live | by Charlie Megginson Two lawmakers on opposite sides of the political spectrum have found common ground in their desire to increase transparency and accountability in state government. A bill filed by Rep. John Kowalko, D-Newark South, and Rep. Mike Smith, R-Pike Creek, would establish an independent and nonpartisan inspector general office in Delaware. The proposed office would investigate state agencies to identify and root out waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, corruption and other conduct contrary to the public interest. The inspector general would serve a term of five […]

Bill to lift recruitment boundaries for some charter schools advances in state legislature

Delaware Public Media | by Paul Kiefer A bill seeking to end some charter schools’ use of a five-mile radius admission preference is advancing in Delaware’s state legislature. State Rep. John Kowalko (D-Newark) says the goal of his bill is to expand school choice for more Delawareans, particularly low-income residents who are underrepresented in some charter schools. Kowalko first noticed the issue at Newark Charter School – one of only three charters using the five-mile radius preference. That, he said, creates an obvious problem. “The five-mile radius excluded from consideration […]

Del. Takes Step Toward Creating Inspector General Position & Office

WGMD | by Mark Fowser Legislation to establish the office of an independent inspector general has been introduced in the Delaware General Assembly. Under the bipartisan-sponsored bill (House Bill 405), the IG office would investigate management and operation of state agencies to look for waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, corruption or other conduct harmful to the public interest. The position would be non-partisan. The inspector general would be found through a process led by a selection panel. Names would be presented to the governor for nomination. “Recent circumstances highlight the need […]

Creating Inspector General’s Office in Delaware becomes bipartisan effort

Bay to Bay News | by Craig Anderson A push to create a watchdog Inspector General’s Office took a significant step forward as Democratic and Republican lawmakers continued to unite Wednesday. State Rep. Mike Smith, a Newark Republican, signed on to be co-prime sponsor with Rep. John Kowalko, a Newark Democrat, on House Bill 405, ending his own bid to do the same through proposed legislation. Multiple members of both parties support the bill and Rep. Kowalko said he’s heard no opposition to it. “I think (Rep. Smith’s) addition sends […]

Charter school legislation removes Delaware geographic boundaries

Bay to Bay News Nearly five years after similar legislation was vetoed, a bill that would bring an end to a discriminatory admissions practice for charter schools passed in the House of Representatives last week. House Bill 238, sponsored by Rep. John Kowalko, D-Newark, would remove the ability for charter schools to give preference to students who live within five miles of the school when applying for admissions. A similar bill passed in both the House and the Senate in 2017, but Gov. John Carney decided to veto the bill, […]

Bill would eliminate Newark Charter’s 5-mile radius enrollment preference

Newark Post | by Josh Shannon The Delaware House last week passed a bill that would prohibit Newark Charter School from giving admission preference to students in the Newark area. If passed by the Senate and signed by the governor, HB 238 would eliminate the ability of NCS and other charter schools to give preference to students who live within 5 miles of the school. Instead, students from across the state would have an equal chance in the lottery that determines acceptance into the school. “This bill has one single […]

Sponsors could combine efforts on bill to create Inspector General’s Office in Delaware

Bay to Bay News | by Craig Anderson A bipartisan effort by lawmakers to craft legislation that creates a watchdog Inspector General’s Office may be coming. Currently, however, state Rep. Mike Smith, R-Pike Creek, has already filed a bill and Rep. John Kowalko, D-Newark, said Tuesday he expects a similar bill to be filed by the end of the week. In Rep. Kowalko’s proposal, according to a synopsis, “The (Inspector General) will protect the health and safety of Delaware residents, assist in the recovery of misspent or inappropriately paid funds, […]

Deadline approaches for party change in Delaware primary

Bay to Bay News | by Joseph Edelen Ahead of September’s state primary election, Delaware voters have just over a month to register for any potential change in their political affiliation. Voters who wish to participate in this fall’s primary election will have until May 27 to file for a change of their political party with the Department of Elections. Delaware’s primary election, which will be held on Sept. 13, will help determine candidates for office in both the state House of Representatives and the state Senate. The election allows […]

Legislation to create inspector general office pending in Delaware

Bay to Bay News | by Craig Anderson Maybe one of the latest proposals for an Office of the Inspector General will succeed this year. Two pending bills to create an IG in the state are scheduled to be filed prior to April 5. State Rep. Mike Smith, a Pike Creek Republican, is sponsoring a bill in which “The inspector general would be charged with investigating complaints of waste, fraud, abuse or corruption regarding state employees or state agencies. “While we have a state auditor and a state attorney general, […]

Delaware lawmakers denounce Russian action in Ukraine

Bay to Bay News | by Logan B. Anderson The Delaware General Assembly demanded that Russia immediately cease its invasion of Ukraine, and return to diplomacy and the rules-based international order Tuesday by unanimously voting for House Concurrent Resolution 53. The measure doesn’t have actual power to change anything, but it is a declaration of the feelings of the leadership and the people of the First State. “It may only look like words, but these are the words that we need to defeat terrorist activities in this world, to defeat […]